In the past year the world population grew to 7 billion people. Although recognized around the globe as a significant benchmark, environmental groups have been largely absent from the conversations about how to slow growth while making sure people everywhere have the ability to make childbearing decisions. Human population growth (coupled with unsustainable consumption patterns) is a driving factor in a long list of global environmental crises, including climate change, habitat loss, species extinction, water shortages and depletion of natural resources. Yet addressing the issue by ensuring access to voluntary family planning, empowering women, and improving education can have positive ramifications for women, communities, animal species, and our planet. This panel discussed the importance and strategic relevance of bringing population back into our work, as well as recognizing the depth of the issue and its connection to social justice and the struggle for reproductive rights.
Laurie Mazur, Population Justice Project
Kim Lovell, Sierra Club
Lisa Hymas, Grist.org
Organized and filmed by Amy Harwood, Center for Biological Diversity
This panel discussion was held at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference on March 3, 2012 in Eugene, OR.